Finally–my first complete trilogy!
Today was a great day. I got to hang out at the Merced Barnes & Noble for a few hours, chatting it up with readers and signing copies of MOUNTAIN WILD–making it totally official–My Wild Trilogy is complete! A first for me 🙂
The historical backdrop for this final WILD installment follows the cattle wars of 1889 (an era I’d been pining to write since that first American History night class in 200o!), wars prompted by a natural disaster during the winter of 1886-87 when a freak winter blizzard nearly wiped out the cattle trade in Wyoming, freezing cowboys and cattle alike. Here’s a little factoid I gleaned from wyomingtalesandtrails.com:
On November 13, 1886, it started to snow and continued for a month. In mid-December, however, there was a thaw, turning the snow to slush. In late December the temperature turned to the minus 30’s turning the slush to a solid sheet of ice. January of 1887, was the coldest in memory and included one 72-hour blizzard. Teddy Blue Abbott, who received his nickname as a result of an incident with a soiled dove in Miles City, Mt., noted:
“It was all so slow, plunging after them through the deep snow . . . .The horses’ feet were cut and bleeding from the heavy crust, the cattle had the hair and hide wore off their legs to the knees and the hocks. It was surely hell to see big four-year-old steers just able to stagger along. It was the same all over Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado, western Nebraska, and western Kansas.”
This was a storm unlike any those plains cowboys had ever seen and many were caught out on range, unprepared, and froze along with the cattle. The untimely freeze also killed spring grasses, creating further hardship on the surviving cattle–and cattlemen. In the years that followed, ranchers struggled to rebuild and hold onto their land as new money came into the area looking to capitalize on their tragedy, and as often happens, desperation and greed turned to violence. Garret and Maggie are in for quite the wild ride.
Here’s a little overview on the series: In MUSTANG WILD Garret is only thirteen, a hard-working teen doing his best to look out for his older sister Skylar. In MAVERICK WILD Garret is on his way to becoming a man and suffers some heartache when Cora Mae overlooks him as she falls for Chance Morgan…a man who casts a broad shadow Garret can’t wait to outgrow. Six years later, Garret’s all grown up and finds himself in a heap of trouble with a cattle barren who’s hellbent on driving Garret’s cattle ranch out of business. An attempt to take Garret’s life in the dead of winter lands him in the healing hands of mountain recluse Maggie Strafford…aka, Mad Mag. Maggie made her first WILD appearance in MAVERICK WILD, saving Chance Morgan from a hangman’s noose, and revealing a secret or two about her past. Maggie’s hiding a mess of secrets in her WILD mountain hideaway–none of which she’s willing to share with a handsome cowpuncher she believes has more charm than sense. Garret can hardly believe the youthful beauty he discovers hidden beneath Maggie’s trapper-woman persona. Being raised by Skylar, Garret isn’t new to sharp-tongued WILD women…in fact, he finds himself quite enamored by Maggie’s attempts to put him in his place…and has quite a time convincing her that place is right beside her. A common threat provides the common ground they need to stand on…
As I’d said before, the backdrop for this story was something that really stuck with me–making an imprint on my mind, and waiting for the right story to come along. Do believe one of my favorite aspects about writing historicals is that it feeds my craving for history text
books 🙂 Or maybe it’s uncovering those tragic events and being able to add a glimmer of hope and happy endings to them.
Have you gone WILD? If not, here’s your chance—talk to me and be in the drawing for a copy of MOUNTAIN WILD.
“Love doesn’t make the world go round, Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”